She is not Lost – Girls Solo Travel (Spain Blog) #3: Useful tips and tricks for any vacation

Hi Reader,

If you are reading this blog first, make sure you go and read #1 & #2 posts in the series. Not that this is in continuation but they are very entertaining blog posts (or so I’d like to believe). Anyhow, it’s been a month since my last post – the post vacation blues got me hard and it was sort of difficult to relive the vacation in my head while everyday life was so average. But here’s hoping I complete this series as planned. I wanted to share a list of consolidated tips to help with vacation planning –

1. Flight bookings usually end up being the most expensive one item in the budget. Not a big hack but definitely try booking a vacation at the end or beginning of tourist season to avoid having to splurge on flight tickets. If you don’t mind going off season (usually weather plays a major reason in it being off season) then definitely do that. Book atleast 2.5 months in advance. I read a research article which said the best time to book flight tickets is 3 months before the travel date.

2. Use Skyscanner to make sure you get the best deal on your flight ticket.

3. Look for flights into the secondary airports/smaller airports at your destination, they might not be well located but you could save a lot of money on the flight cost.

4. Internal travel with the country/continent – my first instinct is to look for buses/trains based on the notion that they are usually the cheapest. The many low cost flight carriers have changed the way I travel. Definitely look for flights first and then trains/buses but make sure to read the fine print on luggage allowance.5. Hotels – Always check for reviews on TripAdvisor before booking a hotel (duh!). I really like the TripAdvisor option to check hotel prices – I’ve gotten pretty decent hotel rates thanks to it. It’s acts like Skyscanner for hotels and shows you the lowest price available across sites.

6. Airbnb/Hostelworld – unless your trip is all about relaxing and enjoying in a resort, I’d recommend saving money spent on accomodation and book from one of these apps. I only use accomodation to crash and bathe while travelling, as long there is a clean bed and washroom I’m agnostic to where I’m staying.7. Choose an accomodation walking distance from atleast touristic attractions. This will help you save cost and energy on travelling. You can also make it to tourist spots for sunrise easily (a pre-requisite for me).

8. Buy a metro pass/bus pass. You save money and time and a lot of effort (if you don’t understand the local language!).9. Walk a lot. Walking is the best way to discover any new city. Make your itinerary in such a way you cover places closer together in a day and walk between places (and keep stopping at bakeries to pick coffee).

10. Use Klook to book entrance tickets to major attractions and save a lot! They have some really good deals. I bought a day your of this tiny village outside Barcelona for INR 5000 (100USD) including brunch and drinks.11. Buy a local Sim/international roaming – you can be far more adventurous when Google maps knows the way home at 3AM.12. Before heading to any new place I do a simple Google search – offbeat things to do in XXX. Read through a few posts, trust me you can find gems that are not very touristy.13. Buy a tripod and Bluetooth clicker to make sure you get your own photos as you like. This has to be the best tip of all. I got great self photos on my trip thanks to my tripod!Those were the hcks and tricks I could think of right now, will definitely update this post whenever I think it something else.Leave your travel hacks in the comments below.